Family Law

Legal Aid Family Law

The Family Law Unit primarily focuses on representing victims of domestic violence in family law matters. We provide representation at the final hearing for Final Judgment of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence (Restraining Orders). We also provide advice and counsel in Injunction matters. For more information on how to obtain an injunction, please read the article below entitled “How to Obtain an Injunction.”

We provide advice and counsel in a wide variety of family law matters. We represent victims of domestic violence in Dissolution of Marriage cases (divorce), custody litigation and custody jurisdictional challenges. We make referrals to a variety of agencies if we cannot help you. For more information on community agencies, please read the article below entitled “Agencies That May Be Able to Help You With Family Law Related Issues. Below you will also see a list of links to related web sites which may provide additional aid and information.

The Pro Se Self Help Desk at the Courthouse is for individuals representing themselves (“pro se”). It helps these individuals move their cases along. For more information about the Pro Se Help Desk, please read the article below entitled “Self Help Desk at the Courthouse.”

You may apply in person at our office located at 491 N. State Road 7 between 8:30AM – 3:00PM or by phone at (954) 358-5644 from 9:00AM to 12:00PM, Monday Wednesday & Friday for NON-EMERGENCY Family Law help.

You MUST walk-in to apply for the following matters:

  • Those who have been SERVED with Family Law pleadings.
  • Those who have obtained a Temporary Injunction (restraining order) and are seeking representation for the final hearing.

Please bring ALL of your paperwork with you to our office to apply for representation.

To Obtain An Injunction:

The Domestic Violence Intake Unit will help you complete the paperwork necessary to ask the Court for an INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAINST DOMESTIC, REPEAT, STALKING, DATING OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE (Restraining Order). If you are a victim of domestic, repeat, dating or sexual violence and you are in genuine fear, this service will assist you in filing the papers to petition the Court for an Injunction for protection against the abuser.

Location:

Broward Clerk’s Domestic Violence Department and Pro Se Unit
Broward County Central Courthouse
Judicial Complex West Building
Domestic Violence Division
201 S.E. Sixth Street, 2nd Floor, Room: 02140
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Information Phone Line 954-831-5570
Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Procedure:

DO NOT BRING CHILDREN!

***Bring money for parking!

This process can take 3-7 hours!

  1. Sign in to indicate that you want to obtain an Injunction.
  2. Complete all documents asking for an injunction.
  3. You will be told about the Injunction process including the Emergency packet for service, service of process, the possible orders the Judge may enter temporarily, and the Final Hearing.
  4. Go to the Domestic Violence clerk and file your papers asking for the Injunction.
  5. You may speak with a caseworker to confidentially discuss your safety needs, and obtain referrals for counseling, shelters, or other community agencies.
  6. You will then wait for the receipt of an Order from the Judge. ***lf you intend to have an Attorney represent you at the Final Hearing, be sure to also get a copy of the Petition for Injunction that you filed, so that the Attorney can review this information!***
  7. You must appear at any follow up hearing date that is indicated in the Order or the Injunction will likely be dismissed.

Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, Inc. may be able to provide you with free legal representation at your return hearing. Coast to Coast is located at 491 N. State Road 7 in Plantation, Florida, (954) 358-5644.

*lf Emergency Injunction is needed after hours: Call Henderson Clinic Crisis Line at 954-463-0911.

Self-Help Desk at the Courthouse:

Clerk of Court Pro Se Self Help Unit of Family Court Services-Sale Of Pro Se Forms
Broward County Courthouse – Judicial Complex West Building, Domestic Violence Division
201 Southeast Sixth Street, 2nd Floor, Room: 02140
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Information Phone Line 954-831-5570
Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

A variety of Family Law forms are offered for sale.These same forms can be accessed at www.flcourts.org. Go to the Self Help section and print free copies of family law forms. All documents must then be filed by the individual by themselves. Please note: the staff cannot provide legal advice. Florida prohibits the unlicensed practice of law which puts both the person seeking information and the person giving information at risk. Seek only qualified and licensed legal counsel.

Resources

    • Broward Clerk’s Domestic Violence Department and Pro Se Unit
      Broward County Central Courthouse
      Judicial Complex West Building
      Domestic Violence Division
      201 S.E. Sixth Street, 2nd Floor, Room: 02140
      Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
      954-831-5570
      Hours of Operation: 8:30am – 7:00pm (filings stop at 5:00pm)
      www.clerk-17th-flcourts.org
      *Help in completing Petitions for Injunction against Domestic Violence
      *Sells self-help packets for family law matters
      **If a Domestic Violence incident (as described above) occurs afterhours please contact 954-463-0911 for after hour procedures.West Regional Courthouse
      100 N. Pine Island Road – Room 180
      Plantation, FL 33324
      954-831-5612
      Hours of Operation: 8:00am – 4:00pm (filings stop at 2:00pm) All filings after 2:00pm must be filed at the Broward County Central Courthouse locations at 201 SE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 or through the eFiling Portal.
      www.clerk-17th-flcourts.org
      *Help in completing Petitions for Injunction against Domestic Violence
      *Sells self-help packets for family law matters
      **If a Domestic Violence incident (as described above) occurs afterhours please contact 954-463-0911 for after hour procedures.
    • Women In Distress
      Jim and Jan Moran Family Center:
      4700 N.W. 3rd Avenue
      Deerfield Beach, FL 33064
      954-761-1133 Emergency
      954-760-9800 Office
      www.womenindistress.org
      Crisis counseling for victims of domestic violence and their children. Emergency shelter.
    • Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center
      3500 N. State Road 7, Suite 351
      Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
      954-733-6068
      Residential housing and/or services for women (and their children) needing treatment for alcohol and drug abuse.
      8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Department of Revenue
      1900 W. Commercial Blvd.
      Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
      1-800-622-5437
      Establishes paternity and child support. Can also enforce some existing support orders.
      Open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
      www.myflorida.com/dor 
    • Clerk of Court Depository540 S.E. 3rd Avenue,1st Floor
      Fort Lauderdale
      954-357-8800
      Payments can be mailed to:
      P.O. Box 14248. Ft. Laud. Fl. 33301
    • Support Enforcement Division (S.E.D.)
      540 S.E. 3rd Avenue
      Fort Lauderdale, Florida
      954-357-8800
      Can enforce child support and alimony orders if Court Ordered to be paid through S.E.D.
      Open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
      To view your account online, go to: www.broward.org/support
    • Broward Sheriffs Office
      www.sheriff.org
      Non-emergency-954-765-4321
      General Info.-954-831-8900
    • Broward County Bar Association
      1051 S.E. 3rd Avenue
      Fort Lauderdale, Florida
      954-764-8040
      *Low cost legal services for family law, consumer and landlord tenant issues.
      *Lawyer referral service.
    • Florida Department of Child & Families and Economic Self Sufficiency Services for 17th Circuit866-762-2237
      3511 N. Pine Island Rd. Sunrise, Fl.
      Eligibility for cash assistance, food stamps medicaid, is primarily determined by applying online at: www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/
    • Self Help Forms Approved by Florida Supreme Court
      www.flcourts.org
      Go to the “Self Help” section and print copies of family law forms.
    • FloridaLawHelp.Org
      This excellent site helps you to understand your legal rights in Florida.
      Go to the Forms section to obtain self help automated forms to assist with common legal problems.
    • Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
      www.fcadv.org
      1-800-500-1119 Legal Hotline